Starwatch for March 2024

Written by on March 13, 2024

Hello! I’m Karl Hricko of United Astronomy Clubs of NJ and the National Space Society, bringing you the March Starwatch for WNTI – the Sound of Centenary

It’s the month of March. Spring is in the air. It’s a time for new birth and new life. The first day of spring is in March. It has been observed as a ritualistic event marking religious observances and the planting of crops. It begins when the Sun is directly over the equator, causing an approximate equal daylight and nighttime over the Earth. As a result, it’s called the Spring or Vernal Equinox.

Special structures have been built by ancient cultures to mark the location of the rising Sun on this day. From Stonehenge to the alignment of the pyramids, from arrangement of Mayan temples to the Mound Builders of central USA. The light or shadow of the Sun was used as a marker for the first day of spring, or the Vernal Equinox. It occurs when the Sun crosses the Celestial equator, going northward.  For us, it will occur on March 19th at 11:06 p.m. EDT.

In this month of new beginnings, see if you can spot some of the planets that cross our sky among the stars. After dusk looking west you’ll see Jupiter in Aries, while below, Mercury sits above the horizon in Pisces. At dawn in the southeast, Venus is seen just above the horizon, while Mars is located to the upper right – both in Capricornus. Saturn slips in at the end of the month between Venus and Mars.

So as we look up at the heavens this month, let us open our lives to – hope, new birth and new life.

Until our next Starwatch …  Don’t forget to check out -What’s up in the night sky!

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